If you would have put a gun to my head and asked me, I probably would have said that Jeff Kent had four or five 30-home run seasons. Which would have led to my messy demise, because after looking it up I now realize that he only had three. Dan Uggla is the first second baseman to have four, hitting home run number 30 last night in the loss to the Phillies.
Uggla, by the way, is quietly having his best season so far: .280/.362/.501. He’s poised to go back to arbitration this year and will likely get a hefty raise over the $7.8 million he’s making. And he’s on record as loving Miami. In light of that — and in light of his clockwork consistency — it would probably do the Marlins a world of good to lock him up long term.
The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.
With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.
Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.